Sign Petition to Support Our Country's Neediest Children and Their Families

Foster-adoptive moms urge signing of the petition, "Investigate the epidemic and systemic abuse of foster and adoptive parents" at Sunday, Feb. 9th, is the deadline.

On February 10th, the petition, "Investigate the epidemic and systemic abuse of foster and adoptive parents," found at will be sent to Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Her Department has been given the duty of dispensing federal funds to provide critical services for neglected, abused, and abandoned children.

She is also responsible for providing assurances that each State is operating their agency (Department of Child and Family Services) to her satisfaction. Each state is different; some do follow some rules, but to varying degrees. The problem faced by thousands of families who have adopted children formerly in the foster care system, is, by all reports, a nation-wide crisis. "Social workers love us for adopting these children-until-we learn later that our child has greater health needs than we could have possibly anticipated and we ask them for services, resources, assistance-basically what it boils down to for them, is more money," states Calissendorff. "Then, they don't love us quite so much."

Foster-adoptive parents tell stories of being subjected to constant criticism, to being monitored, scrutinized, interrogated, investigated, inspected, humiliated, degraded, dehumanized and more. "The things that DCFS puts us through just so we can try and meet the needs of our emotionally traumatized children, is, well, traumatizing." This, according to a foster-adoptive mom in Utah.

According to Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, each State shall provide family support services such as "To increase the strength and stability of families (including adoptive and foster families)," and, "To support adoptive families by providing support services as necessary."

Under The Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act, States are required to provide adoption assistance for parents adopting "special needs" children. The amount of the payments is determined by the parents and the agency, based on the needs of the child. The amount may be changed at a later date due to circumstances. They are also eligible for services funded by Title XX, by Title IV-B and through other federal and state laws.

Calissendorff adds, "Nation-wide, our states just aren't holding up their end of the deal. Our elected leaders created provisions for our country's neediest children, and those very children aren't getting them. We need as many signatures as we can get, the more signatures, the louder the message."

For more information, read, "Second Time Foster Child" by Toni Hoy

Tags: adoption, child welfare, foster care, foster-adoption, Health and Human Services, kathleen sebelius, Petition, Social Security Act, social workers

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Shelley Calissendorff
Pullman, WA 99163
United States